WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Higher percentages of incarcerated American adults scored at the lowest levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy skills compared with the American household population, according to a new report on workplace skills released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The report— Highlights from the U.S. PIAAC Survey of Incarcerated Adults: Their Skills, Work Experience, Education, and Training: Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies: 2014—is designed to provide policymakers, administrators, educators, and researchers with information to improve educational and training opportunities for incarcerated adults and foster skills they need to return to, and work successfully in, society upon release from prison. "This new survey shows that the numeracy skills of incarcerated American adults are far weaker than the numeracy skills for American adults, on average," said Peggy G. Carr, acting commissioner of NCES, which conducted the study. "More than half of incarcerated adults lack the basic numeracy skills necessary for pursuing higher education, securing a job, or participating fully in society." "Low skill levels can preclude successful reentry and present significant challenges for adults during their transition," Carr continued. "The average numeracy skills of incarcerated adults are lower than even those of the unemployed population in this country." Average numeracy scores for adults in prisons were lower than adults not in prison and lower regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, age, native-born status, or educational attainment. Average literacy scores for incarcerated adults overall were also lower than those not in prison. But this did not hold true for every demographic group. When comparing Black and Hispanic adults in prison to those not in prison, the average literacy scores and the percentages scoring at the bottom performance level were not measurably different. In addition to inmates' skills, the study also analyzed the work experience of prison inmates prior to their current incarceration, their work experiences during their current incarceration, the skills certifications they had earned, and the frequency and types of skills they used in their prison jobs.